If it's got any or all of its own language, currency or border controls then I probably consider it a country. And if I've spent money there, spent a night there, or at least walked on the territory, then I probably consider that I've been there. So everything from a few hours crossing the breakaway Republic of Transdnistria to four years living in Chile counts. I've been to 82 countries so far, and here is how the world looks from my perspective:
The map also includes my dubious claims of having been to Singapore, Thailand, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Egypt on the basis of airport stops, and Mozambique by virtue of spending a few hours in the Mozambican part of Lake Malawi, en route to and from Chizumulu and Likoma islands.
I think my top ten places that I want to go to right now would be: